Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE:FLO) shares shot up 3.3% during trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $19.03 and last traded at $18.88, with a volume of 2,041,535 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $18.27.

A number of research firms recently commented on FLO. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $20.00 target price on shares of Flowers Foods in a research report on Saturday, April 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Flowers Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Flowers Foods in a research report on Wednesday, May 25th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $19.00 target price on shares of Flowers Foods in a research report on Friday, May 20th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.86.

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $18.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $18.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.97 billion and a PE ratio of 20.988.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 18th. The company reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.29 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.02 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.29 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Flowers Foods Inc. will post $1.01 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 23rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 9th were given a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, June 7th. This is a boost from Flowers Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.45%.

In other news, insider Robert B. Hysell sold 23,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.71, for a total transaction of $443,427.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 83,554 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,563,295.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Robert L. Benton, Jr. sold 12,065 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.49, for a total transaction of $223,081.85. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 65,610 shares in the company, valued at $1,213,128.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds recently modified their holdings of FLO. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Flowers Foods by 6.3% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,532,095 shares of the company’s stock worth $312,295,000 after buying an additional 855,280 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in shares of Flowers Foods by 127.5% in the fourth quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 938,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,164,000 after buying an additional 525,800 shares during the period. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its stake in shares of Flowers Foods by 9,096.2% in the fourth quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 268,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,773,000 after buying an additional 265,699 shares during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its stake in shares of Flowers Foods by 32.8% in the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 718,185 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,435,000 after buying an additional 177,560 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods during the fourth quarter worth about $3,406,000.

Flowers Foods, Inc is a producer and marketer of bakery products. The Company operates in two segments: direct-store-delivery segment (DSD Segment) and warehouse delivery segment (Warehouse Segment). The DSD segment’s production plant locations include Birmingham, Alabama; Opelika, Alabama; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Goldsboro, North Carolina; Jamestown, North Carolina, and Oxford, Pennsylvania.

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